Hollywood Reporter Dance Concert Review (E. Rutherford)

HEADLINE: Fleetwood Mac
Continental Airlines Arena,
East Rutherford, N.J.

Tuesday, Sept. 30

By Frank Scheck

A group that hasn't toured together in 15 years has no right to sound as good as Fleetwood Mac did on this, one of the early dates in their reunion tour.

The Mac did everything a supergroup should do when they get back together: They played, with impeccable musicianship, nearly all of their hits (including almost the entire "Rumours" album); they performed several new songs, all of which are quite respectable; they came up with inventive new arrangements for several of their classics; and, most important of all, they made it seem as if they were actually happy to be there.

The audience was ecstatic.

With Fleetwood Mac a prime example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, the concert (as well as the new album and video) made it easy to appreciate the particular alchemy that occurs when these talented musicians join forces. Deviating little from "The Dance" _ even the album's running order and onstage chatter were similar _ the show took pains to emphasize each member's strengths right at the beginning. Thus, we were quickly treated to the husky, sensual vocals of Stevie Nicks on "Dreams," Christine McVie's melodicism on "Everywhere," Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood's instrumental prowess on "I'm So Afraid," etc.

Both individually and collectively, the group seemed to be playing better than ever. Nicks brought her exotic vocal showmanship to both her Mac ("Rhiannon") and solo ("Stand Back") hits. Buckingham did a solo acoustic set, including a version of "Big Love" in which he sang with a feverish intensity and played with the mastery of a great flamenco guitarist. He and Nicks joined on a beautiful acoustic version of "Landslide," ending in an emotional embrace that the crowd ate up.

The rhythm section of John McVie and Fleetwood has lost none of its power, with the latter's propulsive drumming particularly invigorating on such numbers as Nicks' "Stand Back." Fleetwood also did one of his loony and entertaining trademark solos, banging on amplified sections of his body while maniacally gesturing to the audience.

Their vocal harmonies sounding terrific, the group _ augmented by three musicians and two backup singers _ also performed several new songs, including the jaunty "Temporary One" and the gentle and melodic "Bleed to Love Her." They had fun with several old numbers, including "Say You Love Me," which was reconfigured with a 1960s pop feel, with "la-la" harmonies and Buckingham on banjo. In their relationship to the audience and to each other, the group members seemed to be happy and affectionate. One of the group's encores was their an-them "Don't Stop," and if their fans have any say, they won't.

LOAD-DATE: October 02, 1997

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